The Life List

Above is a picture of me, our daughter Kayla, and Vickie on one of our prioritized adventures in 2015, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Vickie and I started to really prioritize adventure in our vacations around 1999.  The idea was formulated in a hospital waiting room……but that is a much longer story for a different time.

We decided to call this a ‘Life List’ rather than a ‘Bucket List’ because we are ‘glass half full’ kind of people.  I didn’t want to focus on the kicking the bucket deadline, but rather focus on the living part based on our physical and financial abilities.  It is a constantly evolving list.  There are so many cool places and exciting things to do and new adventures not even dreamed of yet so the list will never really be complete.  We use this list to determine which adventure to schedule next.

I would bring the list periodically to ‘date night’ (once a week Vickie & I go on a ‘date’).  We have been dating for over 33 years.  This is where we discussed which adventure to do next.  We each only had about 4 weeks of vacation per year, so we could only reasonably spend 1-2 weeks on the list.  The choices we made depended on the physical shape we were in and the money it would take to make it happen.

A few years ago as we really analyzed the list and calculated the amount of vacation needed to take actually complete each of the places on the list.  At two weeks a year, we figured it would take at least 50 weeks (25 years) to complete a good part of the list, if it didn’t continue to grow.  We also wanted to be physically able to handle some of the more physically challenging items on the list (think mountain climbing).  Every year as we age it gets more difficult to stay in shape and handle the rigors of a challenging adventure.  At 50 it’s a lot harder to sleep on the cold ground than it was at 25.  I won’t get into aging but I think that youth is wasted on the young and inexperienced.

That is how the seed of the idea to take a hiatus was planted.  Once that seed was planted every bit of bad news we heard about family, friends, and acquaintances watered it.  The older we got the more we were aware of our physical decline.  The ‘smart money’ said to work for another 9-1/2 years and ride off into the retirement sunset.  So many things can happen in those years.

We decided to plan for the possibility of a hiatus.  Up until the last couple of months, we still had the opportunity to take the nest egg we were saving and invest on a significant down payment on a new house we would retire in.  Instead we took the leap, sold almost everything and travel the continent in a van.  So far, so good.

Here is the list (not updated) in no particular order.

The Lifelist experience life
Date Complete Event Where/What Description
Climb Aconcagua Argentina
2015 Feb Climb Kilimanjaro Tanzania 8 day guided climb to the summit of kilimanjaro
2013 Aug Climb Devil’s Tower WY Climb Devil’s Tower
Climb Volcanos NW Mt. Adams, Mt. Baker, Three Sisters, Jefferson, Shasta
Climb Mt. Baker WA
Climb Mt. St. Helens WA
Climb Mt. Adams WA
Climb Mt. Shasta CA
Climb The Sisters OR
Climb Mt. Jefferson OR
2000 June Climb The Grand Teton WY Summitted the Grand (Sean & Vickie)
1999 Sept Climb Mount Rainier WA Summitted (Sean)
2002 June Climb Mount Rainier WA Summitted (Vickie & Sean)
2008 Feb Climb Mauna Kea HI hike to the top of Hawaii’s high point
2005 June Climb Katadahin ME Summit the end of the Appalachian trail
2014 Sept Event Skydiving Skydiving (Vickie)
Event Grand Canyon Rafting AZ Raft the Grand Canyon
2009 July Event Rafting the Gallatin MT Raft the Gallatin river (dislocated my shoulder-Sean)
Event Deep Sea Fishing Deep Sea Fishing
Event Walk the Inca trail Peru Walk the Inca trail
Event Maccu Piccu Peru
Event Poker tournament Vegas Play in a major poker tournament
Event Moose Hunting Canada Moose Hunting in Canada (or Minnesota)
2012 Sept Event Boundry Waters MN Kayak in the Boundry Waters by myself (Sean)
Event NASCAR Attend a NASCAR race
Event Mardi Gras LA
Event Comedy Try an Amateur comedy night open mic (Sean)
Event Dancer background dancer or background on workout show (Vickie)
2011 Jan Event Rock’n Roll 1/2 Marathon AZ Run the circuit of Rock-n-Roll half marathons around US
Event Albuquerque NM Experience the Largest Ballon Festival
Event Las Vegas NV Attend a Country Music Awards Show
Event Denver CO Red Rocks Concert
Event Show NY Get it Studio audience of Jimmy Fallon Show
2001 Oct Event Twin Cities marathon MN Sean & Vickie
1999 June Event Grandma’s Marathon MN Sean & Vickie
1995 March Event Ejection Seat FL Rode the world’s largest ejection seat
2005 June Event Fenway in Boston MA Attend a Red Sox game
Goal Own Land ?? Where
Goal Learn Spanish Learn Spanish
Goal Win Lottery Well, I would have to buy tickets every now & then
Goal Write a blog Have something to say
Goal Have grandkids Hopefully our only daughter is in agreement
Goal Build a house On the land I bought in another goal
Goal Movie Extra Be a Zombie in a movie
Goal Learn to surf Learn to surf
2001 Aug Goal State Champions MN ASA softball class C champions, went to nationals Right after 9/11
Highpoint 50 States USA Climb Highpoint in all 50 states
Highpoint Granite Peak MT
Highpoint Gannet Peak WY
Highpoint Mt. McKinley AK
Highpoint All Colorado 14 ers Climb all 52 of Colorado’s 14ers
Hike Superior Hiking Trail MN Hike the complete SHT
National Park Visit all National Parks USA Visit all USA national parks
National Park Zion UT Glen Canyon
National Park Yosemite CA Hike & Explore Yosemite
National Park Glacier MT Glacier National Park
National Park Crater Lake OR Crater Lake
National Park Isle Royal MN Kayak, Hike, and camp at Isle Royal
National Park Denali AK
2016 May National Park Smoky Mountain NP TN Hike in the park
National Park Grand Canyon AZ
National Park Sequoia CA
2015 Feb Vacation Serengetti Tanzania Week long Safari, elephants, lions, leopards, hippos, Gazelle, Ibex, warthogs, etc.
Vacation Memphis TN Walk Beale Street and visit Graceland
Vacation Nashville TN Country music capital, Grand ol’ Oprey
Vacation New York City NY Statue of liberty, etc.
Vacation Branson MO
Vacation Vancouver BC
Vacation Austin TX
Vacation Vancouver Island BC
Vacation Hollywood CA
Vacation Lake Taho NV
2014 Sept Vacation Archery Elk Hunt ID Bow Hunt for Elk in the mountains (Sean)
Vacation New Zealand New Zealand
Vacation Ireland
Vacation Olympics Go to the Olympics
Vacation Chile/Patagonia
2013 March Vacation Key West FL Watch the sunset in Key West, have Key lime pie
Vacation Hawaii Vacation in Kauwi
Vacation Alaska AK Explore everywhere!
Vacation Whistler BC
Vacation Banff
Vacation Olympic Mountains WA Hike & explore the Olympic mountain range in Washington
Vacation Great Barrier Reef Austrailia Snorkle the Great Barrier Reef
2009 Aug Vacation Yellowstone WY Grand Canyon of yellowstone, Ol Faithful
1997 March Vacation Orlando FL Disney world, Discovery Cove, Universal Studios
More to be added as we go!

11 thoughts on “The Life List

  1. Your list is amazing and I’m so excited to hear details and see pictures of every single one of them!! Have fun with Kayla 🙂


    1. We enjoyed catching up with Kayla. We were hoping to summit Gannett together but between Vickie’s altitude sickness and Kayla’s major blisters, we decided to postpone that peak. We made due with going out to eat, playing cards, and reading.


  2. Love keeping up with your travels, your life list is fab!!! The Lande’s would love to check off you deep sea fishing on your next trip to Destin :). Safe travels and hope all is well.


  3. This is awesome Sean, so glad I came across it. I do see one thing missing on your list, the new SPAM museum. Geez, where are your priorities? 😃 I look forward to following you on this amazing adventure!!


    1. Actually, that is on the list. But its on the completed part of the list. I didn’t post all of the completed items on that part of the list. Maybe I should post that one also. What would a life list be without the SPAM museum……..incomplete?


  4. Wow, I thought my list was ambitious. As you know from my BHAG post, I love big thinking like this. I look forward to following your progress. You and I would get along well I think. I have many of the same hunting related goals as you too.


  5. I think we need to see a post from Vickie’s perspective. While you do a great job of telling the overall story it would interesting to get her thoughts and insight. It could be about a particular place you visit, what it is like to live in a van down by the river, or how you choose the next destination.


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